What, Exactly, is Grandmillennial Style and How Can I Try It?

What, Exactly, is Grandmillennial Style and How Can I Try It?

You've heard of Cottagecore and Cabincore, but have you heard the new-ish buzzword in décor, "Grandmillennial"? Grandmillennial design is traditional with a twist, a way to use your grandma's treasures so they feel fresh and chic, as well as a major homage to Preppy style. At its heart, though, the Grandmillennial look is essentially a rebellion. Many Millennials, who became full-fledged adults when you weren't looking, aren't interested in mass-produced flat-pack furniture-or at least not a houseful of it. They want quality, are not afraid of glossy dark wood, and look to the lush, Preppy, traditional décor of the 50s through the 80s for a base layer of comfort, sophistication and maximalism that shakes off the all-white minimalism they wish to eschew.

Younger adults, or middle-aged ones like me who revere traditional décor , are using design elements that haven't been widely popular for decades, relying heavily on symmetry, chintz fabric, floral patterns, wallpaper, fine vintage and antique furniture and Chinoiserie accents. Grandmillennial style shouts out "Less isn't more, MORE IS MORE," with great joy and panache. As many Gen X adults either don't want or are trying to pare down the traditional items they received from their own parents and grandparents, a faction of Millennial adults are gleefully accepting those pieces, from Ethan Allen furniture to blue willow china, to create a new style that mixes those traditional pieces with modern elements, in contemporary colorways, for the way we live now.

How Can You Try Grandmillennial Style?

Well, you're here at Lands' End, so we assume you have some appreciation for the Prep aesthetic! Grandmillennial décor relies on several traditionally Preppy elements that you probably already use yourself and might be thrilled to incorporate more of into your home!

You might consider re-styling your entryway or hall table to see if this look is for you, or if there are at least some aspects of it that would freshen up your décor. A dark wood hall table or console is ideal, but using what you have is always best. Style your entry table with a pair of matched Chinoiserie lamps-switch out the lampshades from pleated or bell shaped to clean-lined drums. Hang a gilt-framed mirror above it. Add a Revere-style or blue willow key bowl, a decorative ginger jar, and perhaps a sea-grass basket underneath to catch mail or shoes, and see how it feels. Components of Grandmillennial style for you to either try out or amplify in your home include:

* Symmetry

* Chinoiserie accents

* Chinese Chippendale furniture

* Ginger jars of any design or color

* Chintz fabric

* Floral patterns

* Skirted sofas, skirted tables, skirted ottomans

* Wallpaper, especially florals and Oriental-themed designs

* Monograms, monograms everywhere!

* Blue willow china, Jadeite glassware, vintage tole-painted metalware

* Dark wood

* Needlepoint pillows and seat covers

* Full-length draperies

* Café shutters

* Fine rugs of wool or wool/silk blends

* Hand-me-down everything!

What Not to Do

Here at Lands' End, we're not big on "Don'ts." You know yourself and your style. At the same time, if you want to try out Grandmillennial décor, there are some things to avoid so that your home looks fresh and your traditional pieces look stately rather than stuffy. The last thing you wish to create is the feeling that someone picked up your great-grandmother's living room and dropped it in your house, and that you're about to serve a gelatin salad garnished with a dollop of mayonnaise!

Incorporate the contemporary pieces you love. Your clean-lined sofa is fine! Your modern art watercolors are gorgeous! Your farmhouse table is perfect as it is! Grandmillennial style is not about a wholesale replacement of your furniture, style, or personality. It's more about incorporating vintage and antique traditional pieces to honor the past and as we look towards the future.

Stick to the color schemes that you want for your home. For example, if it's not pink, it's not me, so when I wanted to incorporate a little Grandmillennial style into my home, I added ginger jars in pastel colors, a Chinese garden stool glazed in pink, and vintage urn lamps featuring a pink-laden floral pattern. There's no need to go full-on 80s and use only burgundy, hunter green and navy blue, unless that is what you truly love. If light and airy is your style, get your Chinese Chippendale chairs in white, Oriental-inspired wallpaper with a sky-blue background, and your blue willow china in the looser patterns. Be you, always.

Symmetry is a cornerstone of Grandmillennial style, but don't overdo pairs. More than three or so pairs of anything in one room and you'll begin to create an off-putting furniture showroom feel. If you don't believe me, try it! You will still want to use the "rule of three" for creating vignettes around the room, and you will still want to use balance rather than symmetry somewhere in the room. Overdoing perfect symmetry can feel stiff or staid rather than simply traditional.

Trying Something New Keeps Us Invigorated

You might consider trying out some elements of Grandmillennial style not just because it's beautiful and not just because you can probably shop your house to do it; consider trying out bits of Grandmillennial style because experimenting with trends keeps your eye and your brain stimulated! Tweaking your décor is part of remembering that a home is a living thing, that changes as we change and our family changes. More importantly, your home is a reflection of yourself, and the last thing you want it to say is, "I haven't changed anything about myself in the last 20 years," so shake it up! Grandmillenial style, we believe, is right in the wheelhouse of any regular Lands' End shopper, so whether you choose more monogrammed items, more floral sheets, or simply to bring a pair of lamps back together after a long separation, give the trending Grandmillennial aesthetic a whirl!


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